Archive for the ‘Family and Friends’ Category

Dad – the new resident dependent

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

My dad has come to live at my house. He can’t take care of himself, so someone else has to do it. That “someone else” turns out to be me, right now. He can’t afford boarding care until he can get rental income from his house, and he can’t rent his house until we clean it up and clear it out. In the mean time, he’s living in my house, sleeping in Saranya’s bed, slowly learning the names of the people who live here, and requiring my assistance at random times. That leaves me unable to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. I’m always on edge, and nothing is fun. Constant stress.

Our weekends will be spent cleaning and emptying his house. There is so much urgency to this task. Maybe it will lessen as we hire some nursing assistance, but so far that’s prohibitively expensive. Sangeeta seems to like having him here, but that’s because she isn’t responsible for taking care of him 24/7 like I am. I’m sure he likes it better here than in a nursing facility, so we’ll see if we can swing it. Maybe a day nurse will be sufficient assistance to get us back to a manageable state.

We’ll see.

At least the crud I took home from GENCON is finally fading.


Monday, August 21st, 2017

I flew out to Indy to hang out with Castor for GENCON 50!

The flight out was nice. Direct on Southwest. I spent most of the time writing my thoughts on improvements to our sequencing algorithm to better take into account the information we have regarding the user’s learning strength for a particular item.

Castor’s house was in a state of renovation. Wet paint and no mirror in the guest bathroom, so I ended up showering in Castor’s shower for all but the last day.

GENCON was fun. On Thursday we wandered the vendor floor before finding our game, which was a RPG based on the old City of Heroes MMO. It was fun. I was “Tech Support” the tech tank. Whenever I entered a battle, I yelled “Tech Support is here. What is your Customer Identification Number?” and they’d all try to attack me. It was funny.

Friday was a free day. We again wandered the vendor floor, ate some Island Noodles, and in the evening we went to Castor’s boss’ house (Matt) for their regular Pathfinder campaign. I played a mercenary named Cevalla who was formerly a caravan guard but was laid off once the caravan hit town. The first couple hours were an exercise in shopping and trivia, and I was stunned by the lack of wisdom on display. My proudest moment was when I cracked a situational joke in character that cracked up the entire table. That felt good.

First thing Saturday morning, we went to another Pathfinder game. This one was an advanced Legends of the Shining Jewel campaign that we were definitely not qualified for, so they redirected us to the noob table, let us choose a premade level 1 character, and set us off to save the beer festival at the town of Brexton. It was simple and easy. We took more damage from our 2nd level fighter’s critical fumbles than we did from the enemy.

The rest of Saturday was spent shopping for stuff. Then we went home and I talked with Sangeeta, and she made me feel horrible. I didn’t want to go home to that tempest of chaos and pain.

Sunday was just a shopping day. Got coffee in the morning and felt so much better. My optimism returned. We left early and stopped by an authentic Mexican restaurant for lunch, complete with shrink wrapped TVs blasting Ranchero Pop, a bunch of shouting dirty local Mexican workers, an adjacent carniceria, and a real crawly cockroach crawling on the bar. We went back to Castor’s place and ended the day with a Dungeon Crawl board game, which Carla won (of course).

I left Castor’s house on Monday morning, had a moderately leisurely breakfast, made a quick stop at Starbucks for a coffee, spent a bit of time in traffic on the way to the airport, spent 20 minutes to check my suitcase, 15 minutes to get through security, and missed my flight by one minute.

Brandon vs Road Rage

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

I remembered a part of a dream I had last night. The snippet started after Brandon had been the victim of an aggressive driver on the street. Some guy had done something dangerous and had acted like Brandon was intentionally messing with him by using the street. Anyway, the guy stops at the next traffic signal and Brandon pulls up next to him, parks his car, gets out, and goes over to this guy’s car. Brandon opens the door and pulls the guy out onto the ground. The guy’s a short thin man with wavy light brown hair and a beard. Brandon is huge, weighing in north of 300 lbs, and a trained self defense instructor. Anyway, Brandon carefully drags the guy out and onto the hot pavement, where the guy ends up lying with his legs under his own car and his seat belt wrapped around his neck. Brandon calmly sits in his driver’s chair, secures the guy’s car so it won’t roll off, puts his foot on the guy’s chest, and calmly starts to explain to him that his behavior is unacceptable and that it could have dire consequences.

I was very impressed with Brandon’s calm, gentle violence and teaching method. Even though the guy he taught isn’t a real person, and I would never be able to pull off that maneuver, I bet it would go over well in a movie.

Today’s inspirational poster

Monday, July 10th, 2017

805BJJ Class 76: reverse shrimp to escape side control bottom to turtle, with immediate knee tap takedown/pass, judo foot sweeps to arm bar

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

After KM109 I changed (with sore toe and all) and jumped into the running around backward line of the BJJ class that TJ was warming up. We then spread out and did the hula hoop and arm circles and such, then did shrimping.

Coach Mark interrupted the class after that to show us why we do cross over shrimping at all. It lets you ratchet out from under side control, get to turtle, and push through to the far knee to get a takedown.

Then we practiced judo foot sweeps, going backward and then going sideways. The sideways version we also learned to end with an arm bar. I hurt my toes twice on that crap. Then I quit and went home in shame.

Krav Maga Class 109: thai pad combos with kicks and sprawls, boxing sparring, front kick only, intense pain, inside defenses with counter

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Brandon’s class started just as we got there. Saranya’s BJJ class started late too, thank goodness. Class started with 2 straight minutes of jumping jacks while Brandon figured out the sound system. Then it was a quick warm up circuit before shoulder tag (I jammed my thumb) and the kicking combo game (Ray and I got to 9, the lowest in the class).

Next was thai pads and boxing gloves. We did 1-4 combos followed by a kick, then 1-4 combos followed by a sprawl. Then we did boxing sparring for a couple rounds, then we did the same with one puncher and one who could only do a front kick. The last round I went to kick Dave and he blocked with his forearm and my toe went straight into it, jamming it and dropping me to my knees. It was very painful.

Last was defense/attack combos against straight punches. I did not do great.

805BJJ Class 73: arm pit and sleeve control to arm bar or back take or lapel control sweep and submit

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Jumped on the mat after KM108 just in time for shrimping and rolls and fall breaks. I did well at those. Then Christian carried Saranya to the mat, and we got to the lesson, which started with a review of Wednesday night’s class, which was also reviewed on Thursday morning. A tight grip on the cross gi armpit gives you a lot of control over the shoulder and upper arm. From there, it’s relatively easy to lock up an arm bar or get to the back.

We also learned that you can feed the opponent’s gi around their arm, punch through to get an overhand grip to wrap the gi around their upper arm and pull it across their body, then scoot around like you’re taking the back. Get on your elbow and feed that gi tail to your other hand, then sit back with it and roll them over, finishing with your choice of choke or arm bar.

Saranya and I left before rolling. Good thing I did, because after I got home I got so stiff and sore that I was getting angry and panicked. I took a 2 hour nap and that helped a lot.

Krav Maga Class 108: shadow boxing, belt running, focus mitts, level 1+2 chokes, carotid choke defense, bear hug with lift defense, choke against the outside wall defenses

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Pam’s Saturday morning class started with her complimenting me on my carry-fold of my BJJ gi. Then we got into shadow boxing mixed with jumping jacks, push ups, squats, sprawls, and sit ups. After that we paired up and our partners pulled us back using a belt around our waists while we sprinted across the mat and side-shuffled back for 2 minutes each. It was exhausting! The clock felt broken.

That done, we did a couple rounds of focus mitts. Combos 1-5 and then the same with a quick double jab cross added to the end. I did alright. Hardest part was holding pads for Scott, and that went okay too.

After that we did a one-in skill drill where we slowly and deliberately defended with all the level 1 and 2 chokes, bear hugs, etc. I did remarkably alright, with a few hiccups from rust. After everyone got their two minutes, we got further instruction on the carotid choke defense, as well as the bear hug from behind with a lift. Pam thought it was an orange belt technique, but I thought it was green belt. Anyway, it was the first time I’d seen the technique taught outside youtube in all my Krav Maga training. I just checked the green belt curriculum and yes indeed there it is! IN YOUR FACE PAM! ;P

Anyway, after that we went to the back alley where we did choke defenses while being pushed against the wall. On stucco. Fun! Then we did a drill where one half of the class would spin with eyes closed, and the other half would administer chokes (front or back) and the spinner would have to do the defense.

In the middle of this, I was called to see the kids’ class, where Saranya got her first stripe on her yellow belt.

805BJJ Class 72: double arm grip to open guard, then triangle or pass to back, rolling

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Saranya got in at about 10:15am to start warming up and learning some things to do about side control. She really struggled with the back roll over the left side. She also taught me a very nice subtlety about osoto gari – the push-pull setup. Push them away real quick before pulling them in, stepping to their side, and sweeping the leg.

Krav Maga was doing kickboxing sparring during our warmup, but eventually they came to the back room and I grabbed a broom and swept the mat quickly. We did our warmup and again Saranya needed help with the left shoulder back roll.

The first technique we learned was using a two-handed hold on one arm to transition to an open guard. Cross-sleeve and same-side-outer-armpit grips, open the guard and plant the grip-side foot, hip back and get your other foot on the hip, then put your planted foot on the hip and sit up. From there, if they have a grip on your gi, you can throw up a triangle, and if they let go, you can push them across and get up to get on their back.

Speaking of triangles, we learned a hack to finish even a loosely locked triangle: get up on your elbows and lift your hips off the mat, then scoot back until you get the tap.

Then we rolled.

I first rolled with Dave. He got on top of me and smashed me, but I kept my cool and avoided all his submission attempts, eventually getting back on top.

Next I rolled with Dave again because everyone else already paired up. He had an arm bar attempt on me and I bent my fingers sideways to escape. I knew it was a bad idea as soon as I finished doing it.

Then I sat out a round. Saranya was sitting out and I invited her over. She had a bloody thumbnail and I told her to wash it.

Then I rolled with Greggo. I did the move of the day on him, and at the end he walked me through an arm bar finish.

Then I rolled lightly with Aaron to finish things off.

805BJJ Class 71: Saranya’s first adult class, fall breaks, snap downs, randori, mount escapes, rolling

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Saranya made it to her first adult class today! Hooray!

We went about 25 minutes early, so we could warm up in the small room and Saranya could learn the moves for the big class. We went through running and shuffling, shrimping, reverse shrimping, somersaults, and fall breaks. Coach Greggo stepped in to break down the rolling fall break some more and give us some pointers. It was very helpful. Then he started showing me the butterfly guard sweeps he promised to show me last week. They both involve pinching the hooks and planting the head in the chest to put the guard player’s back to the mat. The first one involves reaching under with one hand to grab one of the butterfly hooking legs and pull it across. This opens that side for the pass. The second one involved unhooking one of your legs by kicking out, and then tucking it under the remaining butterfly hooking leg, allowing you to pull your other one around for the pass, or push the knee down and slide your hips over for the pass. Something like that. We were interrupted halfway through by the Krav Maga folks moving it to the small room, so we continued on the big mat until class started.

Warm up was usual, except that Saranya was in the bathroom. She joined class as we were running around. We did all the warm up exercises that I showed her (except reverse shrimping) and we also did backward rolls, which I forgot to show her. She spoke up and asked Greggo for help though, and he broke it down for her. :)

After doing fall breaks in the warm up, we did synchronized fall break practice. 10 back fall rolls and 10 side fall flops. Then we stood up and practiced snap downs moving backward across the mat. I paired with Greggo and my fingers hurt from the grip. I kept trying to do the Navy finish to the snatch single, but I couldn’t get it right. I kept forgetting to get my head to his chest!

Then we did randori in a chain method. Dave, Tom, Greggo and I went to the small room and did 3 minutes each with rotating partners. Dave went first and kept trying to stick his leg in for a trip. He was not too successful. Tom was next, and when I went with him he headbutted me in the face, right on the bridge of the nose. I saw stars and had to sit out. My turn was next, and I did alright. Got Dave down once countering his wild trip attempt. Greggo eventually got me down. Now my nose is bruised.

Then we circled up on the big mat to learn mount escapes. The key details I picked up was to frame with your hands, get your leg flat on the mat and use it to scoot their foot out on your frame side to disrupt their base, then push their leg to make a hole for your knee to come out, then recover guard or whatever. Again, paired with Greggo for the drill, he taught me some really awesome subtleties.

Then we rolled.

I first rolled with Taco. He started on top, I upa’d him over and stayed on top for the rest of the round. He had good arm and neck defense, but he couldn’t get me off the top of him very well.

Next I rolled with Aaron, who just finished his Krav Maga blue belt test. He’s always elusive. He scissor swept me hard onto my left shoulder and had me evaluating my wellness. Good enough. I survived.

Then I rolled with Colt, who I did okay against. Played a little half guard and he kept trying to coach me the whole time.

Next was coach Greggo, and he walked me through upa, then swept me, then walked me through mount escape from the lesson, then through a back take and choke.

Last roll was with Dave. I got a baseball bat choke locked in and had to dismount to finish it, so I jumped off and spiked my left big toe straight into the mat. Stupid! That was it for me. I sat out the rest of the round until we bowed out.

Saranya sat out all but one of the rounds. She spent that round in side control bottom and was unable to escape. Now she’s on a mission to beat Skyler!